Date
23 May 2017
After working on the project for about seven years, Hank Cheng took his self-built two-seater aircraft into the skies on Sunday. Photo: Facebook
After working on the project for about seven years, Hank Cheng took his self-built two-seater aircraft into the skies on Sunday. Photo: Facebook

How a young pilot turned his childhood dream into reality

Hong Kong’s first homebuilt aircraft, a two-seater single-engine machine, had a successful trial flight on Sunday, bringing the dreams of the project’s founder Hank Cheng to reality.

The small RV-8 propeller craft took off from the city’s Chek Lap Kok Airport and circled in the sky for around 15 minutes before making a descent.

The aircraft was piloted by Cheng himself, who realized his childhood ambition after years of relentless effort, Sky Post noted.

Cheng, who is a captain with Cathay Pacific Airways, began work on the aircraft more than seven years ago. 

Being an aviation enthusiast since an early age, Cheng secured a flying license in the United States when he was just 18 years old.

He majored in aero-science at a university and then returned to Hong Kong, where he won a local flying license and subsequently became a pilot in 2010.

Even before he became a pilot, Cheng put together a team to build a small aircraft.

After taking courses in the US in 2008 RV airplane assembly, Cheng rented a classroom at St. Paul’s Convent School at Causeway Bay and used it as a workshop.

He partnered with more than 500 middle school students and engineers to build the small-size airplane.

To bring his dream to reality, Cheng is said to have spent HK$1.5 million, even resorting to some property sale to raise the funds.

He has named his airplane “Inspiration”, sending a message to young people that they should keep pursuing their dreams.

 (Cantonese only)

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